Phytonadione is the supplement form of vitamin K1. Vitamin K1 is found naturally in leafy green vegetables, brussels sprouts, avocados, parsley and many other foods. It can also be found as a supplement under the brand name Mephyton®. Phytonadione is most commonly prescribed to stop bleeding in individuals who have a blood clotting disorder. It may also help individuals with vitamin deficiencies.
Generally, vitamin K1 is used to help blood to clot, so people who are lacking vitamin K1 or who have a blood clotting disorder are commonly prescribed phytonadione. It is considered to be more effective and is often preferred to other preparations of vitamin K1 to stop a hemorrhage.
Besides being used to treat a deficiency of vitamin K1 in the body and to aid in the treatment of blood clotting or coagulation disorders, phytonadione is also widely used to prevent hemorrhagic disease in infants. Some hospitals administer it to newborns with a few hours of their birth. In fact, when it is used to treat hemorrhagic disease in infants, it has proven that it is even safer than vitamin K1 analogs.
There have not been any research studies that have clarified whether phytonadione is safe for an unborn baby. As a result, women who are pregnant are discouraged from using it. In addition, some doctors may choose to warn their patients against becoming pregnant while they are being treated with phytonadione. It is also common for doctors to warn women not to breast feed while they are using the drug, especially since it is unknown if it may pass through breast milk to a nursing child.
Phytonadione can be used as a tablet, an ointment, or as an injection. If it is taken orally, it should normally be consumed with a glass of water. The injectable form typically is administered by a medical professional. If a person receives regular injections, she may receive detailed at-home instructions and inject the medication herself.
Side effects are possible from phytonadione, particularly if it is used intravenously. For example, a severe or fatal reaction may occur. These reactions are similar to anaphylaxis and may include cardiac arrest, respiratory arrest, and shock. Other lesser reactions to the drug include dizziness, increased perspiration, flushing, and pain at the site of the injection. Regardless of type, any side effects should be reported to a medical professional.